Low-level Ukrainian pilots’ daring missions to resupply besieged soldiers at Azovstal are revealed in dramatic new footage
- Video Shows Bold Restocking of Under-Besieged Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol
- Seven missions with 16 Mi-8 helicopters brought food, ammunition, doctors and troops
- Helicopters were shot down on two supply trips on their way home
- Zelensky said 90 percent of mission pilots were left behind or killed
New images shed light on the daring reinforcements of the Ukrainian army storming into Mariupol under heavy Russian fire.
Clips released by the Kiev Ministry of Defense show intelligence and the Azov Regiment fighters flying low and fast above the wreckage into the Azovstal steel factory.
The helicopters begin their journey from safe launch points more than 100 km (60 miles) outside Mariupol and venture into the war zone despite a thorough Russian siege.
The video shows the helicopter approaching Azovstal before landing as soldiers rush to disembark and deliver crucial supplies to the struggling population of the site.
The Ministry of Defense images taken from the helicopter show the daring journey to Azovstal
Footage shows the armored helicopters evacuating the scene, Dnepr Express reported.
Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians fought fiercely to defend the key strategic supply point from Russian invaders.
Despite their valiant efforts, Putin’s forces took control of Azovstal two weeks ago after civilian evacuations.
As many as 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers were left behind – with Kiev claiming its troops are now being tortured with pincers and electric shocks.
Seven missions with 16 Mi-8 military helicopters successfully reached Azovstal in the closing days of the Russian siege, the Ukrainian army claimed.
The pilots fly low and fast into the war zone to deliver essential army supplies
A soldier is seen pushing fellow troops off the helicopter during the light speed operation
Food, water, medicines, ammunition and even soldiers were transported.
During one trip, five doctors, including a surgeon and an anesthesiologist, came in.
In another, 72 soldiers of the Azov regiment were brought in as reinforcements.
Still, not all ventures were completely successful, with Ukrainian military helicopters being shot down during the fifth and seventh missions, Pravda Ukraine reported.
The Ukrainian military has not disclosed the number of casualties, but judging by the amount of key supplies that have been brought in, the missions may have saved hundreds of lives.
The incredible video then shows the military helicopter making a top gun style quick breakaway
President Zelensky said 90 percent of the pilots flying the highly dangerous missions to Mariupol were killed or left behind. Babylon Ukraine reported.
He said: ‘A very large number of our pilots have died.
‘Absolutely heroic people who knew it was difficult to fly to Azovstal and [brought] they medicines, food, water, [and] retrieved the bodies of the injured.
“Imagine what these people did. They were absolutely heroic.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Azovstal was finally evacuated of all civilians on May 20.
Moscow claims it has still captured 2,439 Ukrainian soldiers at the factory, although Kiev disputes this number.
The Ukrainian soldiers still in Azovstal are now reportedly being tortured.
In an 80-minute telephone conversation with Putin over the weekend, the presidents of France and Germany urged the Kremlin to release its prisoners of war.
Other soldiers have reportedly been injected with unknown drugs and forced to take confessions, sing the Russian national anthem and beg for mercy.
It came as Mr. Zelensky said he expects “good news” this week on the delivery of long-range missile systems from the West.